playboy: recovery (131) … minus Greece (4)

Membiarkan Yunani mengalami default utang akan menghancurkan kepercayaan investor di zona euro dan mungkin akan menjalar ke yang lain seperti yang dialami setelah kebangkrutan Lehman Brothers pada tahun 2008.

Hal ini disampaikan Kanselir Jerman Angela Merkel Minggu (25/9).
“Kita perlu mengambil langkah yang bisa kita kontrol,”ujar Merkel yang menggambarkan paralel antara situasi Yunani dan Lehman, yang membantu memicu runtuhnya krisis keuangan global seperti dilansir Reuters. “Apa yang dapat kita lakukan adalah menghancurkan kepercayaan semua investor di tengah jalan dan mendapatkan situasi di mana mereka mengatakan bahwa jika kita telah melakukan untuk Yunani, kita juga akan melakukannya untuk Spanyol, Belgia, atau negara-negara lain. Kemudian tak satu pun akan menaruh uang mereka di Eropa lagi.”

Ia juga terkejut tidak adanya kemajuan dari Kelompok negara G20 dalam membentuk konsensus tentang pengaturan bank dan yang berurusan dengan masalah kegagalan yang terlalu besar.

‘Barrier’ Around Greece Needed: Merkel
By Tony Czuczka – Sep 25, 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said euro-region leaders must erect a firewall around Greece to avert a cascade of market attacks on other European states that would risk breaking up the currency area.

Expanding the powers of the region’s rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, as agreed by European leaders in July is necessary to avoid Greece’s problems from spilling over to other countries, Merkel said late yesterday on ARD television. The fund’s permanent successor, due to take effect in mid-2013, is needed “so we can in fact let a state go insolvent” if it can’t pay its bills.

“We have to be in a position to react,” Merkel said. “We have to be able to put up a barrier.” Even so, “I don’t rule out at all that at some point we will have the question whether one can do an insolvency of states just like with banks.” She made no mention of setting up the permanent fund before 2013.

Merkel, as the head of Europe’s biggest economy, is at the center of calls by the U.S. and other governments to do more to stop the European sovereign debt crisis as it pounds global financial markets. The situation is “serious” and “there are no easy solutions,” Merkel said in the hour-long interview. She also indicated that she’s being treated for high blood pressure.
‘A Bit Earlier’

Policy makers can make the EFSF more “efficient” by leveraging it without involving the European Central Bank, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said over the weekend. He also raised the prospect of bringing in the permanent backstop before 2013. Senior finance officials are preparing to examine the cost advantages of accelerating the start of the fund by a year to 2012, according to a document prepared for meetings this week obtained by Bloomberg News.

“Maybe we can manage it a bit earlier” than 2013, Schaeuble told reporters in Washington on Sept. 24 after the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund. The current facility is a “preliminary solution and we want a permanent solution as quickly as possible.” Its successor, known as the European Stability Mechanism, will have a “quite different lasting, stabilizing, confidence-creating function” and Germany “would not oppose” bringing it forward, he said.

With global stocks entering their first bear market in two years last week, European policy makers were met with pressure at the weekend from foreign counterparts at the IMF meeting to do more to stop the contagion seeping from Greece.
‘Can’t Force It’

Merkel rejected Greece leaving the euro area, saying that “we can’t force it, but I don’t believe in that in any case” because it would send a signal to financial markets that attacks on euro-area sovereigns can succeed.

“Maybe Greece leaves, the next country leaves and then the next country after that,” she said. “They would speculate against all the countries.” A small group of euro countries would be left at the end, deprived of the euro’s advantage as the currency appreciates, she said.

Merkel suggested that Greece may be able to get the next tranche of bailout aid, after a team of officials from the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission assess the Greek government’s progress in meeting deficit-reduction and other targets. Merkel is due to host Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for talks in Berlin on Sept. 27, two days before German lawmakers vote on the enhanced rescue fund.

It’s the “troika’s” job to make the ruling on progress made by Greece, she said. “Were they to come back one day and say Greece can’t make it, then we would have to rethink,” Merkel said. “But they aren’t doing that so far.”

Merkel said she’ll win legislative approval of the expanded EFSF powers on Sept. 29 on the strength of her governing majority without depending on opposition support. “I want a majority of my own and I’m confident I will get it,” she said. “I’m also going to lobby for it one more time this week.”

For all the turmoil, Germans can have confidence in the euro. “We need the euro,” she said. “The euro is good for us. That is why we need to improve on what has gone wrong in the past.” Changing European treaties to make it easier to enforce budget discipline is one solution, she said. “We have to work toward treaty change.”

ATHENS, Sept 26, 2011 (AFP)
Greece’s finance minister has pledged to do whatever it takes to haul the nation out of crisis, but European policymakers wary of a devastating default are pushing to deepen the region’s bailout fund.

Rumours that plans are being made for an inevitable Greek debt default caused further volatility on stocks and currency markets in Asia on Monday, after a torrid week that saw sharp markdowns on global bourses.

Tokyo shares led broad losses in Asian trade, falling 1.65 percent while the euro slipped against the dollar as risk-averse investors shunned the European single unit.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in Washington on Sunday that Athens will introduce new measures to fight the debt crisis, which threatens to infect the eurozone and hobble the global economy.

“We are ready to take the necessary initiatives at any political cost,” Venizelos said in an address to the Institute of International Finance, an association of 450 banks from around the world.

“I don’t think that you can find many examples at the international level of such rapid fiscal adjustment efforts,” he said, adding that protest-hit Greece had paid a heavy political and social price for its action.

But as he made his pledge, a pessimistic eurozone was making plans to expand a stabilisation war chest — the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) — that would throw up financial firewalls in the event of a crisis.

“We are thinking about the possibility of giving the EFSF greater leverage, to give it greater strength,” EU finance commissioner Olli Rehn said in comments to be published in newspaper Die Welt Monday.

Analysts complained that the mixed messages, and a lack of clarity after last week’s meeting of finance chiefs from the Group of 20 leading economies, fuelled concerns that another global financial crisis is looming.

The G20 members issued an emergency statement saying they were “committed to a strong and coordinated international response to address the renewed challenges facing the global economy.”

They promised to take “strong actions to maintain financial stability, restore confidence and support growth”.

“But they came short of mapping out any measures with immediate effect so have failed to stop the market’s selling of risky assets,” said Teppei Ino, an analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Britain’s former finance minister Alistair Darling said Sunday that European governments had “only this weekend… realised it is only a matter of time before Greece defaults.”

Darling, who held the key post during Britain’s 2008 banking bailout, accused European leaders of having allowed the Greek crisis to “run on and on and on” and urged them to take immediate action.

The eurozone agreed in July to increase the EFSF’s lending capacity to 440 billion euros ($591 billion). Rehn did give any figures on an enlarged fund but reports said it could be boosted to more than 2.0 trillion euros.

“The current crisis is a serious combination of a crisis in public debt and weaknesses in the financial sector,” Rehn said, referring to concerns over the strength of eurozone banks.

“We cannot solve one without the other,” he added. “We need to shore up repair work in the financial sector with a recapitalisation of the banks.”

Greece and the euro are facing a tough week ahead as European and IMF experts resume a fiscal audit that will decide if debt-hit Athens can escape default despite a massive EU-IMF bailout.

There is mounting speculation that the EU rescue of Athens crafted in July — which still awaits ratification by the 17 eurozone member nations — will need to be revised again.

Ireland and Portugal have also been forced to seek EU-IMF bailouts, and there are now question marks over the financial health of the large economies of Spain and Italy.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou visits Berlin this week, ahead of a German parliamentary vote on whether to approve the plan to expand and deepen the EFSF.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday she was confident she would not have to rely on the opposition to pass Thursday’s crucial vote.

“I would like to get my own majority and I am confident I will get this. I am going to campaign for that this week,” she said in a television interview.

While Greece continues its dance with bankruptcy, only a year after a massive EU-IMF bailout loan of 110 billion euros ($149-billion), some European leaders still insist the country should not be allowed to go broke.

“Greece will avoid bankruptcy, because its in the interest of the Greek state, the Greek people and it is in all our interests,” France’s European Affairs Minister Jean Leonetti told TV5-monde television channel Sunday.

“If Greece goes bankrupt tomorrow it will cost us more than if they don’t go bankrupt,” Leonetti said.

European leaders are still struggling to find a persuasive response to the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis that has rocked the single currency area and raised criticism from the United States and the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF’s policy board said over the weekend it had agreed to act decisively and collectively “to restore confidence and financial stability, and rekindle global growth”.



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